Having given my Pike and Shot armies a couple of goes recently with different rule sets and enjoyed those games, I thought I'd like to have another game in the same period. I've been reading Bob Cordery's (and friends) book The Portable Pike and Shot Wargame, which has several sets of rules, including two variants for ECW/30YW forces. Having looked through them, I was interested by Alan Saunders' ECW variant, which seems to have some good ideas which Alan explains in his Design Notes.
Alan's rules are strictly 'ECW', but I think they'll stretch to being used with my Thirty Years War armies representing French and Imperialists - I tend to think that by the 1640s, a lot of the features of earlier 30YW armies such as 3/4 armoured Cuirassiers, mounted Arquebusiers and larger Tercios would have fallen out of use, even if some units still carried those names. Admittedly my armies of vintage figures maybe look a bit more 1620s/1630s, but I am choosing to overlook that!
I'm going for a simple setup, from an old favourite source: Neil Thomas One Hour Wargames. I selected Scenario 3: 'Control the River'. Neil Thomas summarises as follows The Red and Blue armies represent portions of much larger forces. Their commanding generals have ordered them to seize two strategic river corssings, as a base for future operations. As typical for OHW, there are six units per side, which is within my reach. It's a simple, symmetrical layout, with a river dividing the field, crossed by two bridges, control of which is the objective for both sides.
It consists of :
Two Pike and Shot Infantry Regiments ( 'Grun' and 'Blau' ), rated 'Trained', each 4 Strength Points (SP)
One Pike and Shot Infantry Regiment ( 'Rot' ), rated 'Elite', 5 SP
One unit of Cuirassiers ( Horse ), rated 'Trained' , 3 SP
One unit of Dragoons, rated 'Trained', 3SP
One unit of Artillery, rated 'Trained', 2SP
A total of 21 SP. Alan's rules the army has a Break Point, equal to half its total SPs rounded up. So the Break Point for this army is 11 SP. When casualties reach the Break Point, the army must test each turn to continue fighting. For those interested in such things, the figures are 15mm scale and mostly from Mike's Models, Frei Korps 15 and Minifigs - as far as I remember, given they are some decades old!
Obviously the French force is similar, though I made a slight variation in the morale ratings - all three French infantry regiments will be 'Trained', but their cavalry unit will be 'Elite'. I have a shortage of Dragoon figures, so I have drafted in some of MacFarlane's Scots cavalry to represent Dragoons. Here is the French force
which consists of :
Three Pike and Shot Infantry Regiments ( 'Rouge', 'Vert' and 'Bleu' ), rated 'Trained', each 4 Strength Points (SP)
One unit of Horse ( 'Turenne' ) rated 'Elite', 4 SP
One unit of Dragoons ( 'MacFarlane' ), rated 'Trained', 3SP
One unit of Artillery, rated 'Trained', 2SP
Giving a total of 21 SP and Break Point at 11 SP. Figures mostly a bit more recent, from Essex Miniatures, except the Scots and the Artillery which Ross told me were 'old strip Minifigs' ( I think their first 15mm range ) from the late 1970s - real veterans!
This is a simple 'encounter battle' - at the start, neither side has troops on the table. The French represent 'Red' who will enter from the Northern ( top ) table edge on Turn 1 , while the 'Blue' Imperialists enter from the Southern table edge at the same time. It should be a nice straightforward scenario, and I hope an easy introduction to the rules. Next time, we'll see how it goes. Meanwhile keep well, everyone.
The table and troops are pretty much mirrored, so with those influences neutralised, it will be interesting to see at what point and how, one side gets the advantage.ReplyDelete
Thanks Norm. I hope I haven't made it too symmetrical! Interestingly this rules variant includes a 'random events' element, which may introduce some useful uncertainty.Delete
Excellent. I always look forward to your battles and subsequent analysis of the rules' performance.ReplyDelete
Thanks Richard, very kind! I am quite interested in looking at the various rule sets ( of which there are so many!) and thinking about how they fit with my impression of how battles played out in reality. Let's see how these ones go..Delete
A lot of people seem to use Neil Thomas' scenarios as the basis of entertaining little games; I look forward to seeing how this one works out.ReplyDelete
Thanks rross : indeed 'One Hour Wargames' is a brilliant source of simple yet intriguing scenarios which can be used in many period settings. Every (wargamer's) home should have one!ReplyDelete
I do look forward to hearing how the battle goes. I hope the rules work out well for you.ReplyDelete
Thanks Alan, I am interested to try these rules. I hope you are on the mend!Delete